Traveling abroad? Smart makes it easier to avoid bill shock

Off to Jakarta tomorrow for the first time!
Already know where to eat, but please tell me where to shop!
I’m also excited to use my Smart phone when I get there so I can check on my kids and update my social media without worrying about the cost. No need to buy a foreign SIM or rent a pocket wifi at the airport!

As a Smart postpaid subscriber, I’m looking forward to their 500-a-day All-Day Surf Abroad plan. That means, you pay only Php 500 pesos for a full day of high-speed mobile Internet abroad.
What’s more, has expanded its coverage to more than 110 countries around the world—the widest data-roaming network available to Filipino travellers today.
By the end of the year, the list will further expand to include a total of 180 countries around the world.

Surf Abroad 550

There’s no need for registration.
Surf Abroad 550 is available as a fully automated service for Smart Postpaid subscribers. All you have to do is turn on data roaming on your phone. It’s automatic and you will no longer suffer from “bill shock” when you get your statement.
Once the service is active, subscribers will receive an SMS notification that they have already been subscribed to the enhanced Surf Abroad 550 package.
“Subscribers are now free to roam without fear,” said Tina Mariano, Global Access and International Services head at Smart.
For more information, visit

Wish he might: Advice to Alden

I never expected to be hooked on a local TV show, but there are things you don’t know about me.
Something was causing me anxiety last September and when it really got bad, I found that watching reruns of Aldub on YouTube made me forget the problem I was facing.

It was mostly Lola Tinidora (Jose Manalo) and Lola Tidora (Paolo Ballesteros—wooh!) who made me chuckle with the “sugod bahay” portion when they enter houses of the poor and give them prizes, plus interactions of Eat Bulaga‘s Tito, Vic and Joey from the studio.
That Alden Richards was cute was a plus for me.

Soon I became obsessed, but lately not so much, because I’m finding Alden less and less cute each day.
It all starts when he wears thick foundation which makes him too porcelain or feminine.
Then everything goes downhill when he wears scary printed tops with the folded sleeves, like these:

Alden Richards Alden Richards

Or cheap T-shirts, which make him look like the (house) boy next door.

Alden Richards
Alden Richards
Alden Richards

It’s not that difficult to dress well, since Alden is already blessed with the face, the physique, and the height (5’11”).
First, he needs to lose the foundation he’s been using.
Many male celebrities, reportedly including Piolo Pascual and Dingdong Dantes, use MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation in NC42 because it gives them a tanned look onscreen.
Alden already has good skin, so thick foundation doesn’t make sense. MAC’s NC42 is also too dark for him but the powder might definitely work because it gives a second-skin finish that is natural and un-espasol.
Next, he needs to stick to neutrals, plains (not prints), classic shapes, for example:

Alden Richards
Alden Richards

Alden Richards

Alden Richards
Alden Richards

To whoever is styling him, take some fashion pegs from one of my favorite shopping sites, lagarconne.

La Garçonne Men
La Garçonne Men
La Garçonne Men
La Garçonne Men
La Garçonne Men

Bottom line:
1) Lose the espasol.
2) No to printed tops and cheap T-shirts.
3) No to jeggings and tight pants.
4) Yes we know you have biceps and that’s hot. But no need to roll up your sleeves.
5) Invest in good shoes (not Skechers).
6) You’re already cute. Keep it simple, classy, not trendy. Less is more.

Alden Richards

Wish I Maine: Advice for Maine Mendoza

Dear Maine,
You are currently advertising’s It Girl and everybody loves you.
Since you started showbiz in July 2015, you have risen faster than any Filipina entertainer we know.

Maine Mendoza
Photo: BJ Pascual

As far as endorsements go, you are phenomenal. During the last couple of months you have appeared in no less than six TV commercials, like 555 Sardines

Talk & Text with Alden Richards

Zonrox Bleach

O+ Phone with Wally Bayola

McDonald’s with Alden Richards

Bear Brand Adult Plus with Alden Richards

And counting.
Here’s my advice: Since everybody wants you, you have the power to say no.
Please choose your projects. Please don’t say yes to everything and look like this:

funny ads

funny ads

funny ads

funny ads

Because money isn’t everything. I hope you remain a sweetheart and I hope you keep your dignity intact.

Our friend Joey

When I wake up in the morning, the first thing I do is check my phone for messages.
Today I found out a girl friend of ours died after a three-year battle with cancer. So I went along texting a few friends to let them know. I got myself out of bed and picked up my friend Sayoko at the airport and took her to the hotel.

Sayoko and I passed the time talking during traffic and had a quick bite at the hotel lobby.
After merienda, I dropped her off at SMX and that’s when my phone rang.
My friend Tata didn’t sound good. I found out a second friend had died around 4 PM in Bangkok.
Our Thai friend Joey had a massive heart attack at the age of 50.

Joey Makanas

Joey was a talented stylist who seemed to have drunk from the fountain of youth. He loved food, fashion and butterflies.
He always liked my Instagram photos and last night he left a comment and called me a nun.
Joey and I met at UP Fine Arts in 1985. He was my Thai BFF and because I was manang and wore long skirts to school, he called me a nun.

He taught me a lot about Thai fashion and patiently toured me around Bangkok even before Thai food and fashion became fashionable. We used to argue in Bangkok because I wanted to take a taxi and he wanted to walk and take the train :(
(He taught me to kneel down when talking to small children and to pick them up when they cry.)
When we were in UP he made me scream when he placed a giant grasshopper in my hand.

Joey and his mom Salome
Joey’s favorite picture of himself and his mom, who died this April

Joey was the only reason I went to Bangkok. Him and the world’s greatest Thai food at the Mandarin Oriental.
A few days ago I had been thinking about taking the kids to visit, just to eat and see Joey.
After braving the traffic, I got home around 7 PM, plopped into bed and cried my strongest cry in a long time.
I stopped crying when my son and dog entered the room.

Room service at Mandarin Oriental Bangkok
Room service at the Mandarin Oriental, 2012

“Why do the good die young?” my friend Anne texted.
“I don’t know Anne. If only the bad would die first,” I answered thoughtfully.
And now I am waiting for news on the wake to find out if I can fix my schedule to see him for the last time.
After this, Bangkok will never be the same again. One last time and I don’t think I’ll ever go back.
Thank you Joey, for everything.

Joey Makanas, Best shopping partner

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